Pahadi food with its literal translation means food from the hills. People from Kashmir, Uttarakhand and other hilly areas of our country are known as the Pahadi people. Hilly areas are obviously gorgeous when it comes to their eerie locations or landscapes. But what also great about the hills is their food.
If you wish to taste the real spice, then you ought to try the Pahadi food. Their food is a classic example of flavour bomb. Their food is also extremely spicy as the chill and cold in the mountains need that level of spice.
So, if you ever travel to the hills, here’s what you must try.
Thriving in the cold waters in the deep valleys of Himachal Pradesh, Kullu Trout is an iconic fish based-dish. It is cooked in mustard oil, aromatic spices and coriander seeds being the main ingredient. Not many spices and herbs are used to cook, to keep the fresh flavour of the fish. Kullu Trout is often served with boiled vegetable and lime juice.
If there is one dish that is found in almost every region of India, it has to be the Chana Masala. And just like rest of India, the Pahadi cuisine also has its own version of Chana Masala called as Chana Madra. Chickpeas or chana is cooked in yoghurt or curd based sauce, with spices and herbs. Curd based sauce or gravy can sound peculiar, but this dish is a must-try.
3.Pahadi Cha Gosht
Cha Gosht is nothing less than a feast. Made with succulent and juicy mutton or lamb meat, with rich and exquisite flavours, with Cha Gosht, you are in for one of the best meals of your lives. Marinated mutton slow cooked in an array of delicate flavours, yogurt and caramelized onions,
Anardana translates to pomegranate. In the Pahadi style of chicken, they marinate the chicken with pomegranate seed powder and curd. Anardana Chicken is not your regular chicken curry, it has unique flavours and is heavy on the plate as it is cooked with both ghee and oil. Hours of marinating the chicken with paste made with pomegranate seeds and chillies, this dish is spicy and we are already drooling over it.
The Pahadis have their variant to the popular biryani and oh boy, it does taste wonderful. Tudkiya Bhat is the Pahadi biryani made with rice, lentils, potatoes, onions, giner-garlic and a plethora of spices. It is usually served with mash dal and adding a pinch of lemon juice to it, just enhance the taste and flavour of it.
It is a crime if we do not mention Sidu in the list of Pahari dishes. A local bread made with wheat flours, it takes painfully long hours before the yeast settles in and the dough to rise. Once raised, it is directly exposed to heat, or steamed in a bonfire. This adds a smoky flavour to the bread. Usually served with just butter, Sidu is one of the finest Pahari dishes.
Lotus steem is a popular ingredient in the hills. They are used in curries, snacks and rice items. Bhey is a traditional vegetarian curry made with lotus stem and the gravy is prepared with onions, tomatoes, besan and various spices. Delicate and flavourful, bhey is comforting and delicious.